Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Boy George is at Metro Feb. 21.
by Tony Peregrin

This article shared 1240 times since Wed Feb 21, 2001
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

You can call him what you want: "Icon of the '80s," "Diva of Dance Music," or "Cat in the Hat" ( our Boy is rarely seen these days without a stylish chapeau crowning his head ) .

You could even call him a "Bitch"... he's been called far worse...but just don't call him Mr. O'Dowd, because if you do, he's likely to burst into a fit of uncontrollable giggles.

And, by George, Mr. O'Dowd has a good reason to be giddy this afternoon. He is in the middle of his first DJ tour of the U.S. to promote his new, highly anticipated remix compilation release, Boy George Essential Mix, as part of London-Sire's Essential Mix series. The tour was launched on Valentine's Day in Las Vegas, accompanied by an enthusiastic crowd that George describes as "very British," by which he means they were open and responsive to dance music sounds ... like ragga infused House ... that haven't quite surfaced in American dance culture.

"Dance music is more established in the U.K. than it is in America. Even people in the smallest towns routinely go clubbing every Friday and Saturday night. Clubbing and dance music is more infused with the culture there, DJ decks sell out by the dozens much more than guitars do! I think America is still finding their dance feet, you know what I mean," says George during a recent phone interview from the home of Amanda Ghost, long-time friend and the haunting voice behind the dance sensation "Filthy Mind."

The 17 tracks on the "Boy George Essential Mix" are a pastiche of sounds rooted in everything from disco to techno, from two-step to progressive house with a little something extra thrown in the mix that George cheekily describes as "Prada Trance."

"Prada Trance is a slightly intellectual sound, it's not cheesy. It has a classy quality to it," he says, pointing to the "Spreading the Light," track by The Colein as a prime example.

"I knew I wanted to start off the CD [ a remix of the "Girl from Ipanema" ] with a mid-tempo sound ... fashion show music, is what I call it. I do a lot of music for the catwalks and that kind of bassy, sexy, music really works when you are modeling. This CD is the kind of music you listen to when you are sorting out your clothes and putting on your makeup and getting ready to go out, you know what I mean," he says, his voice ringing with laughter.

Of course, we know what he means, especially gay men, who have a song or a soundtrack to mark virtually every moment of our lives.

George has the endearing trait of ending almost every comment with the phrase, 'you know what I mean?' as if he is uncertain whether his thoughts are being understood by the listener. But one area where he never seeks affirmation or approval from listeners concerns his choice of music while spinning for a live audience.

"Last year I was spinning at the White Party in Palm Springs. When I went up to the deck, the DJ before told me not to play anything progressive or the crowd won't react. Well, I thought, 'I've got what I got, there's not much I can do about it now!' You know, I never really know what I have in my box before I hit the deck, I just play what I'm in the mood to play. But the audience really seemed to go for it, though I don't know if it was because of the music, or because it was Boy George behind the deck."

"Gay clubs usually have their own DJs and so [ those clubs ] have their own sound which the people are used to," he continues. "Gay clubs tend to like particular things and that's why I really like playing straight venues because I tend to have more freedom in what I can play." Pause. "But straight boys, because of the clothes and the makeup, do seem to be a little intimidated by me."

George says he consciously looks for records that are an independent release, ones that "nobody has heard of." In fact, fledgling DJs and producers often hand him their records while George is spinning at a club. If he likes it, he'll play it then and there, usually in the next five minutes. If he doesn't like it, he throws them away.

Hunky, shirtless circuit boys have been known to try and woo the openly gay George to spin a particular song, but he adamantly refuses to take requests.

"Why would I spin something that I know Sasha or some other well-known DJ would be likely play? I tell these boys, I'll marry you, I'll go out with you, but I'm not going to play that record!"

When asked to rattle off the names of current non-dance performers he listens to, George calls Radiohead and "that gorgeous lead singer" from Coldplay as among his favorites.

"If you interview the guy from Coldplay, tell him I love him," he says, only half-kidding.

"I approach music a bit like a 14-year-old girl. There's no logic to it. If I think someone is attractive or I like their shirt or whatever ... then I'm hooked. N'Sync has quite a lovely sound, for example. No matter how trashy something is, if it has heart that's all that matters."

Chatting about pop musicians currently in vogue, it occurs to me to ask George what is the sexiest video he's seen in recent months.

"'101 Men', by Bel Ami. It's very voyeuristic with all these Baltic beauties whacking off, it's a collection of audition tapes," he says with genuine enthusiasm.

What about MUSIC videos, George? "Oh is that what you meant," he says before breaking up into peels of laughter.

"Music videos are so fuckin' boring lately. It's all about how much money you spend and not about the ideas. I turn on MTV at nine in the morning and then I turn it on later that night and it's the same video playing! I think the Internet is going to be the next outlet where you're going to see truly amazing and innovative music videos.

George considers himself quite Internet savvy, though he refrains from making a habit of visiting the gay chatrooms.

"I go on with a fake name, and there all these guys with their fake names and noone is saying anything except how they're looking for sex. I usually get into these funny arguments with people because noone is saying anything intelligent or interesting. I get bored of it very quickly. Someone will ask me what I'm wearing, and I'll tell them hoop earrings and full make-up, just to piss them off, and before you know it, they've logged off!"

While the chatrooms have not been the most successful of hunting grounds for George, he has managed to find love ... occasionally ... while on the road.

"The last time I was in Chicago, which was four or five months ago, Culture Club was performing at the House of Blues and I had sex with our baggage handler. He was straight, I think, but one night he carried all of my baggage into the room and he said he would be right back. I told him that he had already carried everything in and he said 'I thought I would stay the night!' He said he would call me after that, but he never did."

Despite this very "passionate," ( as George describes it ) encounter, the singer/DJ says he is much more interested in establishing intimacy with someone than having casual sex.

"Gay men have a hard time dealing with intimacy. I know I do, I am constantly struggling with that. Intimacy is frightening. And you know, shows like Queer as Folk, which show men having predatory sex all the time ... that's not a revelation. What would be a revelation is a show that had two men in a relationship and being intimate with each other. Being in love, now that's controversial! That would turn America on its head!"

Up next for George: Details are still being hammered out over the movie version of his wildly successful, bare-all autobiography Take It Like A Man. George says that actress Hillary Swank might do an "incredible job" in the title role, if only "she gained a little more weight," though it is more likely the part will be portrayed by an unknown.

For now, the role of Boy George is being played by none other than the Boy himself, and at 40 years old, it remains a role he's hard pressed to define ... though his resume will tell you he is a writer, a mixer, a producer, a singer and a radio show host.

"Right now, today, I am a DJ. I like being in the DJ booth because it is one of the few places that I have complete freedom."

This article shared 1240 times since Wed Feb 21, 2001
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

MCA to showcase Justin Vivian Bond on Oct. 30 2021-10-25
- On Saturday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m., The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Ave., will present "Music Talk: Justin Vivian Bond and Jim Hodges," featuring singer-songwriter, author, painter, performance artist and actor Mx. ...

Gay News

REVIEW Randy Rainbow tackles politics, shows talent at The Chicago Theatre 2021-10-24
- YouTube sensation Randy Rainbow brought The Pink Glasses Tour to The Chicago Theatre on Oct. 22. Best known for videos that parody musical numbers with a focus on politics, the heavily curated show began with a ...

Gay News

MUSIC Indie band Fleece is queering country 2021-10-24
- Eight years ago, gay songwriter and lead singer Matt Rogers and his friend, bisexual drummer Ethan Soil, founded Montreal quartet Fleece. A few years later, bisexual vocalist Megan Ennenberg and straight man Jameson Daniel—who are both ...

Gay News

MUSIC Elton John's 'The Lockdown Sessions' now out 2021-10-22
- Elton John's The Lockdown Sessions is now out, courtesy of Interscope Records. An album of collaborations recorded remotely over the last 18 months, The Lockdown Sessions features UK #1 single "Cold Heart (PNAU remix)," with Dua ...

Gay News

THEATER E. Faye Butler to star in 'Fannie' Oct. 25-Nov. 14 2021-10-21
- Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., will host the run of Cheryl L. West's Fannie (The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer), which will run Oct. 25-Nov. 14. E. Faye Butler stars as U.S. civil-rights ...

Gay News

Lyric Opera presenting 'Florencia en el Amazonas' Nov. 13-28 2021-10-21
- During Nov. 13-28, Lyric Opera of Chicago will run the company premiere of Florencia en el Amazonas—the first Spanish-language work to be presented as part of Lyric's mainstage opera season. There will be evening performances on ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Superman, TheWrap, Oscar Wilde, Billy Porter, Cher, 'Dragula' 2021-10-17
- The ongoing comic Superman: Son of Kal-El, by writer Tom Taylor and artist John Timms, launched in July and saw Jon Kent officially take up the mantle of the Man of Steel now that his father, ...

Gay News

CIFF, featuring LGBTQ+ films, running through Oct. 24 2021-10-15
- North America's longest-running competitive film festival, this year's event expands throughout Chicago with presentations at venues across the city, including at AMC River East 21; the Music Box Theatre; the Gene Siskel Film Center; special drive ...

Gay News

MUSICALS 'Pretty Woman' tickets go on sale Oct. 15 2021-10-15
- After a pre-Broadway run in Chicago and being on Broadway, Pretty Woman: The Musical, based on one of Hollywood's most beloved romantic stories of all time, returns to Chicago. The production will run at the CIBC ...

Gay News

'Tapping into Ca$h' : CaSera Heining lives double life as DJ Ca$h Era and radio producer 2021-10-14
- Minutes before DJ Ca$h Era hosted Lollapalooza's first drag show, the Black queer woman behind the stage name was pacing nervously behind the scenes and listening to a drag queen animatedly remind her they were "making ...

Gay News

MUSIC Janis Ian's last Chicago concert May 14 2021-10-13
- In what is being advertised as her last concert in Chicago, LGBTQ singer Janis Ian will be performing at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 8 p.m. Tickets ($48-$50) will ...

Gay News

THEATER 'Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' running through Nov. 6 2021-10-12
- Black Button Eyes Productions is welcoming back live audiences with the popular internet musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog—an authorized fan production to benefit the Chicago charity Season of Concern—playing through ...

Gay News

Lyric Opera running seven performances of 'The Magic Flute' Nov. 3-27 2021-10-11
- Lyric Opera of Chicago is running seven performances of The Magic Flute, Mozart's final opera, on Nov. 3-27. There will be performances at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3; matinees on Nov. 7, 11, 14 and 17, ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Drag Race' winners, Playboy, punk band, The Dinah, Daniel Craig 2021-10-10
Video below - As part of VH1's #LGBTQHerstoryMonth project, five winners from the RuPaul's Drag Race winner's circle—season one's BeBe Zahara Benet, All Stars 4 winner Monet X Change, season 11 winner Yvie Oddly, season 12 victor Jaida Essence ...

Gay News

Madonna's latest concert film, Madame X, now out 2021-10-09
- The concept film to Madonna's acclaimed Madame X Tour has debuted in the United States Latin America, Australia, the Nordics and Canada exclusively on Paramount+, the streaming service from ViacomCBS. Fans outside these markets can watch ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.